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VP seeks expediting development of Covid vaccine for children

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Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday urged the scientific fraternity to focus on expediting the development of Covid vaccine for children and for according priority to protection of children from the virus.

Naidu emphasized that the vaccination drive against Covid-19 should become a pan-India ‘Jan Andolan’ and appealed to the people to immunise themselves by taking the required doses of the vaccine.

Addressing scientists and staff of the Bharat Biotech International Ltd after a visit to its plant at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, he said that there is no room for vaccine hesitancy. He urged everyone to get vaccinated saying there is no other more powerful way to protect “ourselves and people around us”.

Commending the development of a nasal Covid vaccine as an important initiative, he said this can reduce vaccine hesitancy and improve the ease of administering.

Asserting that advantages of vaccination far outweigh the perceived drawbacks, Naidu said that this message should be driven home loud and clear to every nook and corner of the country. “It is now clear that vaccination is preventing hospitalisation and severe disease when infected,” he added.

Cautioning people against becoming complacent by the temporary decline in Covid-19 cases, he said: “Let us be responsible citizens and not behave in a careless manner by violating Covid protocols”. He appealed to the people to continue with masking, physical distancing and personal hygiene.

The Vice President also urged the leaders of various political parties and their followers to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. “It is the duty of each one of us to act responsibly. We cannot afford to invite the third wave,” he warned.

Observing that the constantly mutating virus poses unforeseen challenges and forces us to find solutions that will save lives and protect livelihoods, Naidu said that vaccine supplies must be stepped up rapidly and vaccines must be administered to all as quickly as possible.

He, however, expressed confidence that the immunization drive would pick up pace in the months ahead and said the government intends to vaccinate all eligible adults by the year-end.

Lauding the scientists at Bharat Biotech for developing an effective vaccine in a very short time frame, he said he appreciate the optimism and dynamism that Dr Krishna Ella and Dr Suchitra Ella have brought to this organisation.

Naidu said that a few other Indian companies have also raced against time to produce Covid-19 vaccines, while some more are in the pipeline.

Saying India has earned global appreciation as the “pharmacy of the world”, he said that it supplying over 50 per cent of vaccines and is the largest producer of generic drugs. Indian pharma firms are also supplying over 80 percent of the anti-retroviral drugs globally to combat AIDS.

He noted that India’s domestic pharmaceutical market, estimated at $42 billion in 2021, is likely to reach the $120-130 billion by 2030.

Expressing his happiness that Hyderabad has emerged as the hub for vaccines and bulk drugs, he said that he was pleased to note that it has also turned into a biotechnology hub with the Genome Valley driving growth in this sector.

He said that it was heartening that one of the recently-sanctioned Central Drug Laboratories has been located in Hyderabad.

The Vice President, who went around the facilities, complimented the company for contributing significantly towards immunisation programmes in India and abroad.

Telangana Home Minister, Mohammed Mahmood Ali, BBIL Chairman & Managing Director Krishna Ella, Joint Managing Director, Suchitra Ella, Director, Dr V. Krishna Mohan and the heads of various divisions of Bharat Biotech attended the event.

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AP’s special vaccination drive inoculates 11.78 lakh people in one day

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In a special vaccine drive, Andhra Pradesh government inoculated as many as 11.78 lakh people, said a health official on Tuesday.

AP health department carried out the special drive all through the 13 districts of the southern state on Monday until 11 p.m.

Five districts vaccinated more than 1 lakh people, out of which East Godavari topped with 1.92 lakh inoculations.

East Godavari is followed by Chittoor (1.18 lakh), Anantapur (1.1 lakh), West Godavari (1.08 lakh) and Visakhapatnam (1.07 lakh).

All the other districts could manage only sub 1 lakh vaccinations.

Guntur vaccinated 97,083 people, followed by Nellore (96,508), Krishna (94,162), Prakasam (87,226) and Kurnool (62,074).

Kadapa district vaccinated only 41,894 people while Vizianagaram inoculated the least at 9,883.

On Monday, Andhra Pradesh logged 1,627 new Covid cases, taking the state’s overall tally beyond 19.5 lakh, even as its active caseload dropped to 21,748.

Grassroots governance system of village and ward volunteers is playing a key role in identifying unvaccinated people and inoculating them.

The volunteer system has also undertaken multiple fever surveys across the state. Each volunteer is tasked with taking government services and schemes to 50 households.

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Nani gets vaccinated, asks fans to make a choice

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Telugu star Nani on Saturday uploaded a picture that shows him getting the Covid vaccine. He encouraged fans to take the jab with an interesting poser in the caption of his post.

“Our options, A) We vaccinate and stay safe. B) We stay safe by getting vaccinated. Choose one,” he wrote as caption.

The actor, who dropped his 25th film as hero, “V”, on OTT last year, is awaiting the release of his new Telugu film “Tuck Jugadish”. He will also be seen in “Shyam Singha Roy” along with Sai Pallavi, Kirthi Shetty and Madonna Sebastian.

Nani also recently gave the first clap for his next production “Meet Cute”.

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Shreya Ghoshal takes Covid jab, encourages new mothers to go for it

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Singer Shreya Ghoshal posted a video on Monday to share the news that she has taken her first dose of the Covid vaccine. The singer, who gave birth to her first child Devyaan on May 22, encouraged nursing mothers to get vaccinated.

“While #Devyaan was sleeping peacefully at home, I quickly went out to get my first dose of vaccination today!! It’s absolutely safe for new mothers to get vaccinated for covid as recommended by my doctors. Just like anyone else, if your are a nursing mother, you too can get your shots. #covishield #vaccinationdone #covidvacccine,” Shreya informed.

Shreya and her husband Shiladitya Mukhopadhyaya were blessed with their first child Devyaan on May 22. Introducing her newborn son to the world, the singer had posted: “Introducing- ‘Devyaan Mukhopadhyaya’ He arrived on 22nd May and changed our lives forever. In that first glimpse as he was born he filled our hearts with a kind of love only a mother & a father can feel for their child. Pure uncontrollable overwhelming love. It is still feeling like a dream @shiladitya and I are so grateful for this beautiful gift of life.”

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Telangana identifies 6 lakh people for priority vaccination

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The Telangana government on Wednesday decided to vaccinate 6 lakh people against Covid-19 on priority

They included government employees in various departments, dialysis and thalassemia patients, auto and cab drivers, bank and postal employees, public representatives of urban and local bodies, pujaris, imams and pastors.

The decision was taken at a meeting Finance Minister T.Harish Rao and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar had with senior officials on the implementation of Covid vaccination drive in the state.

The minister directed that vaccination of the remaining 6 lakh persons from identified high exposure categories in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) and all other urban local bodies of the state should be completed in the next four days.

The meeting decided to vaccinate another 6 lakh people in various categories on priority. They include 16,000 dialysis and thalassemia patients, 3 lakh auto and cab drivers in ULBs, 25,000 engineering staff working in all the engineering departments, 45,000 field staff working in power sector, 5,000 field level employees in agriculture, 30,000 field staff of revenue earning departments, 6000 IKP field staff, 15,000 bank employees in the districts, 13,000 postal employees, 60,000 public representatives of urban and rural local bodies, 35,000 RMP and PMPs practising in rural areas and 50,000 pujaris, imams and church pastors.

The meeting noted that payment had been made to vaccine manufacturing companies for 16 lakhs doses which were yet to be supplied. It was therefore also decided to appoint a special officer to pursue the matter and ensure that receipt of this stock was expedited.

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Sonu Sood to start a vaccination drive

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Bollywood actor Sonu Sood has been busy with charity and is helping thousands of people who are in need. His team is quite active round the clock and is responding on a swift note to deliver the medicines and other needed things during this pandemic season. After helping the daily wage workers, coronavirus patients by providing medicines and oxygen cylinders, Sonu Sood is now all set to start a vaccination drive. As per the reports, Sonu Sood will host a vaccination drive in his hometown Saffuwala in the Moga district of Punjab.

The actor decided to vaccinate all the people of his village through this vaccination drive with his own expenses. Sonu Sood’s sister Malvika Sood is monitoring the work. All the people of the village aged above 18 years will be vaccinated through this drive told Sonu Sood. The top actor is meeting various people at his Mumbai residence and his teaming is helping them on a regular basis. Sonu Sood is expected to resume work from next month and he will be playing a crucial role in Megastar Chiranjeevi’s Acharya.

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Centre to vaccinate all Indians free of cost: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indicated that in view of the demands of several state governments, the Centre will provide free vaccines to all the states. He also said that even those below 18 years of age would be given free vaccines. He said the free vaccine would be provided to people of all age and income groups. He said this ambitious programme would be unveiled from June 21.

In his broadcast to the nation on Monday, Modi said that those who want to pay and get vaccinated in private hospitals. The private hospitals will collect only Rs 150 towards service charges over and above the vaccine cost. He said the monitoring of the private hospitals would be left to the state Government. He said that the states would be allocated quotas and the state governments would be given prior notices to get ready for the vaccination.

In another major announcement, he said that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Yojana, under which free rice would be supplied to over 80 crore people till November. He said this would ensure that the people would not go without food.

He also decried the devious attempts made in some quarters to belittle the quality of India’s indigenous vaccines. He said such people were playing with the lives of gullible people. He also asked the public at large to be vigilant and follow all the Covid control procedures. He exuded confidence that India will defeat Corona and emerge stronger. He termed the Covid as the biggest threat to humanity in modern times.

Interestingly, this is the first public address that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made during the second wave of Corona. Though he has addressed the people at least 11 times during the first wave, he has not addressed the nation after the second wave struck the country by April-end.

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AP CM ‘unity call’ brings back Hemant Soren episode

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AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s letters to fellow CMs in the country have raised a political storm. It is well known how the AP CM has long been extending unconditional support to the Modi regime at the Centre. Mr. Jagan Reddy was the first and the only CM who criticised Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren for his dig at the Prime Minister.

At that time, Hemant Soren just said that the Prime Minister would have discussed the issue of Coronavirus battle rather than speaking out ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Within a few hours, the AP CM took to twitter, saying that it was not correct on the part of Mr. Soren to criticise Modi at a time when the country was waging a serious struggle with the pandemic.

Now, the same AP CM is appealing to all the other Chief Ministers including Mr. Soren to make united efforts for getting Covid vaccine from the Centre. Mr. Jagan Reddy has said in his letter that the Centre was not giving the required medicine to the States. All the CMs should come together to get proper vax supplies in this regard.

No CM of other States has responded to Mr. Jagan Reddy’s call for unity. Even the Telangana CM is yet to give his response. It is a fact most other CMs have placed advance orders for the vaccines and are not in a desperate situation like the AP CM.

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Jagan proposes central management of vaccine supply

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Reaching out to his counterparts across the country, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday called for collectively urging the Central government ‘to take charge and responsibility’ for the vaccination drive, as was being done earlier.

In a letter addressed to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, Reddy pointed out that the global tender floated by Andhra Pradesh government, has not received bids. He noted that several other state governments have reported similar experiences.

Reddy said that the lack of bids are being attributed to reasons such as situation evolving into a states versus union government, and central government being the approving authority. Stating that the need of the hour is aggressive vaccination, he called for reverting to the earlier system of vaccine procurement and disbursements by the central government.

“A centralized and coordinated vaccination, supported by the states would lead to wonderful results for the people of India” he concluded while stating that all the chief ministers speak in one voice on the issue.

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Telangana to vaccinate students going abroad for higher education

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After undertaking a special drive to give Covid-19 vaccines to high-risk groups, the Telangana government has decided to start vaccinating students going abroad for the higher studies.

These students will be vaccinated on a priority based on their admission letters. The Medical and Health department will soon prepare the guidelines in this regard.

The decision comes as a relief for students planning to take admissions in universities abroad. With various countries planning to open up travel and other sectors after Covid curbs, several students in Telangana are looking to pursue higher studies abroad.

Since Covid vaccination is going to be a key condition for travel and stay in countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, the state government decided to launch a special drive to give Covid vaccine jabs to students.

Meanwhile, the special drive for vaccination of high risk groups in the state was underway for a fourth day on Monday.

Beneficiaries identified under the category, also known as super spreaders, were taking the jabs at vaccination centres across the state.

Under the special drive, the state health authorities plan to cover 7.78 lakh people including auto rickshaw and cab drivers, Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees, those working in Rythu bazaars, grocery shops, wine shops, street vendors, salon shops, laundry service, pan shops and vegetable, fruits, flowers, chicken, meat, fish markets.

During the last three days, the health authorities vaccinated more than 2.70 lakh people. They included about 55,000 of 45 and above years who received their second dose.

According to director of public health and family welfare Dr G. Srinivasa Rao, 69,168 people were vaccinated on Sunday. They included 4,698 who received their second jab.

On Sunday, 48,708 people in 18-44 age group were vaccinated. Of them 41,040 received the jab in government vaccination centres and remaining 7,668 in private hospitals.

The state has so far vaccinated 1.71 lakh people in 18-44 age group. The special vaccination drive will continue for a week.

The state has so far administered 60.58 lakh doses. The vaccination is being carried out at 1,069 centres across the state.

The state last week initiated Covid vaccination for the age group of 18 to 44 years with special drive in all the districts targeting the high risk/vulnerable groups at designated Covid vaccination centres and also permitted private CVCs to vaccinate for 18-44 age group.

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KTR fires on Modi for Covid vaccine shortage in all States!

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TRS working president and IT minister KT Rama Rao on Friday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding him responsible for the shortage of Covid vaccine in all the States.

KTR said that the Centre has kept 85% of the total vaccines availability under its control and left just 15% quota to all the States which is in no way sufficient to meet the huge demand in States.

KTR accused Modi of lacking foresight in handling Covid vaccination in the country saying that Modi exported Covid vaccines manufactured in India to foreign countries without thinking about our own needs first.

He said though all the States are willing to spend money to procure vaccines and vaccinate their population, there are no adequate supplies available in the market.

Despite States floated global tenders to procure vaccines from global manufacturers, there is not much response as there is great demand for vaccines all over the country and global manufacturers have tied up with other countries for vaccine supplies.

He questioned vaccine companies of fixing different prices for Centre and State governments.

KTR asked Modi to take corrective measures at least now to ensure vaccination for all Indians by this year-end.

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World’s vaccine hub has no vaccines, laments KTR

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Telangana’s Industry and Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Wednesday rued that while Hyderabad is the vaccine hub of the world, it has no vaccines to inoculate people against Covid-19.

“While Hyderabad is the vaccine hub of the world, vaccine manufacturer for the world, it is unfortunate that we don’t have vaccines for our own people,” he said while inaugurating a Covid care centre in Cyberabad, the information technology district.

“If we are given enough vaccines, our government has capability to administer one million doses per day. We can cover the entire state in 45 days. It’s unfortunate that demand supply equation is quite bad in the country. The demand is quite high while supply is meagre and everything is governed by the Centre,” said Rama Rao, who is son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

KTR, as Rama Rao is popularly known, hoped that the situation will improve. He said it was individual opinion that the Centre should reach out to Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac and other vaccine manufacturers in the world who can give India the required number of vaccines in shortest possible time.

“I am also told that there are vaccines which are lying idle elsewhere in the world, in Canada, Denmark and the US. There are vaccines which are pending approval and there are vaccines already approved and which are lying idle elsewhere without consumption and without demand,” he said.

He wanted the Centre to step up its efforts allow more vaccine manufacturers to enter the country so that demand supply gap is covered

Pointing out that Punjab and several state governments have been told by vaccine manufacturers that they don’t want to deal directly with the states, he hoped that the Centre will take states into confidence and understand their requirements. He said each state can’t have its vaccine strategy. “After all, it is one country and we have to work in sync,” he said.

The minister said the potential super spreaders and vulnerable sections among people have to be identified and vaccinated. He said the states and the Centre will have to prepare themselves and work together to tackle the next way and that they can’t work in isolation.

Stating that vaccination is the solution, KTR said the state government was in touch with the Centre to get more doses.

The minister, who heads the state Task Force for procurement of vaccines, said the state government has also called tenders for one crore vaccines.

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Covid super spreaders” vaccination drive in Telangana!

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The Telangana government has decided to take up a special drive to vaccine “Covid super-spreaders”.

It came to the notice of the state government that these ‘super spreaders’ are contributing to rapid spread of coronavirus in Telangana.

Following this, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has directed officials to take up vaccination drive for super spreaders on a priority basis.

As per the directions of the CM, the Minister for Finance T Harish Rao along with the Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue of vaccinating all super spreaders.

It was directed to take special drive to ensure that all the LPG delivery staff, FP shop dealers, Petrol Pump workers, auto and cab drivers, vendors in rythu bazaars, fruit, vegetable and flower markets, kirana shops, liquor shops, non vegetarian markets are vaccinated, who are identified as ‘super spreaders’.

The issues relating to identification of super spreaders and other logistic arrangements were deliberated.

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Jagan tells Modi not to give vaccines to private clinics

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has made a scathing attack on the private hospitals. In a letter to Prime Minister Modi here, Mr. Jagan said the private clinics were exploiting the people in vaccination very extremely. Some of them were collecting Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 25,000 from the public. Hence, the Centre should not give vaccines to the managements of private hospitals.

Mr. Jagan Reddy told the PM that the over exploitation by the hospitals was hampering the State Government’s big plan to provide vaccination to all the people freely. He said that the AP Government had decided to give free vaccines to all the people but the shortage of vaccines was causing problems in this.

The CM said that if the Centre stopped supply of vaccines to the private hospitals, it would become easier for the State Government to overcome the shortage problems and to give vaccines to all. Because of the shortage problem, AP was right now able to give vaccines to only those above 45 years of age.

Mr. Jagan urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the vaccines would be available only with either the Centre or the State Governments. This would help in rationalising the vaccine stocks so that all sections of people could get vaccinated in due course of time.

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Telangana to give only second dose of Covid vaccine from May 8

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In view of shortage of the Covid-19 vaccines, health authorities in Telangana on Friday decided to vaccinate only those awaiting their second dose.

From Saturday, vaccine will be given to only those due for second dose, Director of Public Health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao told reporters. This arrangement will continue till May 12. However, there will be no vaccination on Sunday.

All persons eligible for second dose will be permitted to take the vaccine at government vaccination centres by spot registration by showing their certificate of partial vaccination.

The eligibility period for taking second dose is six weeks for Covishield and four weeks for Covaxin from the date of taking the first dose.

Rao pointed out that there are more than 11 lakh people in the state who are due for second dose. However, the state currently has only 3.74 lakh doses. He assured the people due for second dose not to be worried as the state expects another 3 lakh doses by May 15.

In the light of low allocation of vaccine till May 15 (4.69 lakh of Covishield and 2.16 lakh of Covaxin) and in order to optimally utilise the available doses, the special drive has been launched to cover the people who are eligible for second dose, he said.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who reviewed the Covid vaccination programme, took note of meagre allocation of Covid vaccine to the state. He spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to provide minimum 2 lakh doses per day.

Srinivasa Rao said vaccination for 18-44 age group will be launched only after receiving sufficient supplies.

He appealed to people to avoid public gatherings till the curve turns flat, and wear a double mask during travel and single mask at home as the virus is airborne.

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Namrata Shirodkar lauds drive-in vaccination centres in Mumbai, Bhopal

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Actress Namrata Shirodkar on Wednesday lauded the drive-in vaccination centres in Bhopal and Mumbai, saying it is a super cool initiative that will help senior citizens and the differently-abled to get their vaccines.

Namrata posted two pictures on Instagram, featuring drive-in vaccination facilities in the cities.

“Drive-in vaccination centers in Bhopal and Mumbai.. a super cool initiative helping senior citizens and the differently abled get their shot in a car. Requesting all the other state governments to have this implemented. Vaccination is the only way out of this crisis! #GetVaccinated,” wrote Namrata as caption, with three folded hand emojis.

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Pfizer in talks with India over expedited approval for COVID-19 vaccine

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Global pharma major Pfizer is discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country, the company’s Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday. CEO also announced a donation of medicines worth more than $70 million.

Earlier in April, Pfizer said that it had offered a not-for-profit price for its vaccine for the government immunisation programme in India and it remains committed to continuing engagement with the government to make the vaccine available in India.

“Pfizer is aware that access to vaccines is critical to ending this pandemic. Unfortunately, our vaccine is not registered in India although our application was submitted months ago. We are currently discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make our Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country,” Bourla said in a mail sent to Pfizer India employees that he has shared on his LinkedIn post.

Pfizer has earlier said that, during the pandemic phase, it will supply the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine only through government contracts.

The Indian government last month allowed emergency use approval of the imported vaccines in India which have been granted emergency approval for restricted use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK MHRA), Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Agency (PMDA) Japan or which are listed in WHO (emergency use listing).

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55 lakh people to get Covid vaccine in Telangana from March 1

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Health authorities in Telangana are making arrangements to administer Covid-19 vaccine to 55 lakh people under the third phase of vaccination from March 1.

With the Centre giving green signal for Covid vaccine for people above 60 years of age and those above 45 with comorbidities, the health department started making arrangements for administering the shot to beneficiaries in these two groups.

The health officials estimate that there are around 45 lakh people who are above 60 years old and about 10 lakh people in 45-60 age group with co-morbidities in the state.

The department has decided to set up 1,500 centres across the state to cover both the target groups.

The authorities had initially worked out plans to vaccinate about 75 lakh people including 3.5 lakh healthcare employees, 2.5 lakh employees of various frontline departments, 65 lakh people who are above 50 years and four lakh in 18-50 age group with comorbidities.

However, with the Centre making some changes like vaccinating people above 65 years of age and those in 45-60 age group with comorbidities, the overall number of beneficiaries came down by 14 lakh.

Telangana currently has six lakh doses of the vaccine and the health department expects to receive another 10 lakh in next couple of days.

Officials said the vaccine will be administered at all government hospitals and 230 private hospitals linked with Arogyasri Trust. In addition, 1,000 primary health centres in rural and urban areas and Basti Dawakhanas will also serve vaccination centres.

The beneficiaries can register themselves on COWIN app by uploading Aadhaar card as proof of age and voter card of any of 11 other identity cards.

Those with comorbidities have to submit certificate from the doctors treating them. The beneficiaries can also choose the vaccination centre where they want to take the jab. However, they will not be given the option to choose the brand of vaccine. “Beneficiaries will have to take whichever brand is available,” an official said.

Those with successful registration will receive a password on their mobile phones. They will also be sent SMS, informing them about the date and time for taking the vaccine.

They will have to report to their respective vaccination centres and show their original identity cards and certificates in case of comorbidities to the officers concerned. They will also have to share the password.

Those who can’t register themselves online can directly go to the vaccination centres and show their relevant documents to the staff, who will register them on the app.

The healthcare workers and employees of various frontline departments, who could not take vaccine during the two phases, will get a final chance to receive the shot from Thursday. Health officials made it clear that all those who missed the vaccine will have to take it before March 1.

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Andhra Pradesh begins second phase of Covid vaccination

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Andhra Pradesh on Saturday began administering the second dose of coronavirus vaccine to frontline workers. Healthcare and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers are taking the second vaccine shot at the same place they were inoculated for the first time.

“Frontline workers should get inoculated with the same company’s vaccine as their first jab,” said Health Commissioner Katamneni Bhaskar.

Like most places in India, Andhra Pradesh is using ‘Covishield’ produced by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and ‘Covaxin’ made by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.

Following the completion of 28 days, the state government has begun the second phase of vaccination lining up 19,108 workers on Saturday.

Bhaskar directed all healthcare workers and ICDS personnel to finish taking their first vaccine dose before February 25.

“After February 25, health workers would not be inoculated with the first vaccine dose,” said Bhaskar. However, he allowed them to take the first vaccine shot anywhere in the state.

Likewise, he directed employees from all other departments to complete vaccination by March 5, clarifying that there would be no vaccination for them after this date.

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Covid: Andhra manages to vaccinate 61% of 1st day’s target

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Andhra Pradesh has managed to vaccinate 19,108 frontline workers (61 per cent) by 8.30 p.m. on Saturday for the novel coronavirus against a target of 31,570, officials said.

The highest number of vaccination sessions — 33, was held in East Godavari district. However, the highest number of beneficiaries was recorded at Guntur — 2,274.

“Vaccination will continue till completion of today’s target – 33,200 beneficiaries,” said an official statement. The target, however, could not be achieved by the time the latest numbers arrived, which also showed some inconsistency in the targeted vaccinations.

Likewise, none of the districts managed to achieve all the targeted number of vaccinations on the first day.

In Prakasam district, only 436 of the planned 2,200 vaccinations were done. In percentage terms, Andhra Pradesh managed to vaccinate only 61 per cent of the targeted numbers.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan congratulated the Indian scientists and doctors for successfully launching the vaccination programme.

He congratulated them for successfully developing, manufacturing, distributing and launching the countrywide vaccination programme on Saturday.

“The scientists with their untiring efforts have fulfilled the aspirations of the people of the country by making the vaccines available to people in a very short period,” said Harichandan.

He also congratulated other officials involved in the entire exercise.

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